Power Ministry Set to Bring Hydropower Development Framework

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The Union Power Ministry is in process of preparing a framework for hydropower development in India and the same would soon be taken to the highest level in the government, Mr BN Pandey Additional Secretary -Hydro, Ministry of Power informed, “We are preparing a framework for hydro development in this country, very soon we will take it up to the highest level in the government, so the focus is going to be back on hydro.”He was inaugurating a conference on ‘Hydropower @Crossroads,’ organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

He said that in totality hydropower comes out a much cleaner, greener and sustainable option while adding that water security is an issue in India and there is a need for storages as well.

Highlighting that reducing the costs is one of the major challenges in hydro sector, he suggested for financial restructuring together with use of innovative financing instruments.

“How do we bring down costs or tariff of hydro projects, can we overcome and remove some of the long-drawn clearance processes taking into account environmental safety as well and basin studies, can we also devise some innovative financing models in our instruments which may help to restore the investor confidence which as of now has gone down and people are really not investing apart from PSUs,” said Mr Pandey.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, Mr Kalikho Pul, chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh which accounts for over one-half of one lakh megawatt (MW) untapped hydropower potential in India will provide single window clearance to all power developers from both central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) and private sector.

“We will provide all support to private developers for installing and commissioning of hydropower plants with facilities of single-window clearance,” said Mr Pul. “All requirements of local coordination will be fast tracked and we will ensure that there are no barriers to investors.”

The Arunachal Pradesh chief minister also said that state government was examining various options available for funding the equity participation of state including the option to exit from the same.

“We wish to create a win-win situation for the country, the people of the state, the state itself along with its ecological system, hydro- power developers, and entrepreneurs in many fields who would be attracted by such growth and change,” he added.

Suggesting that both solar and hydropower should simultaneously be promoted, Mr Pul said that projects between 50-100 MW should be promoted and taken up under the Ministry of Non-Renewable Energy and there is need to source subsidy funding for the same.

“With a view to raise the share of hydropower in electricity-mix of the country, the Ministry of Power may set up a green energy corridor to evacuate hydropower generation from Arunachal Pradesh and north-eastern region,” he said further.

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